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On February 18, 2016, armed police raided the business and home of Maricel and Paul Fullerton in Woodland, California. In what looked like a major drug bust, police seized 22 pounds of processed cannabis, firearms, and $55,000 in cash. The only thing that seemed odd was that Maricel works as a hospice nurse while Paul is a retired fire captain.

For two-and-a-half years the Fullertons fought to clear their names and for the return of their property and cash. This month, the Fullertons finally won their civil asset forfeiture case which sought the return of the money.
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Former Pastor Ricardo Strachan of Prophetic Worshipers International Church was arrested on August 15 for allegedly repeatedly molesting a 13-year-old girl.

Strachan, 40, faces one felony count of lewd and lascivious battery on a child between the ages of 12 and 16. He was released on $100,000 bond and is forbidden from having contact with the victim, the victim’s family, or any minors.

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Camp counselor and school teacher Christopher Lawrence Falzone of Davie, Florida was arrested on August 13 for allegedly molesting a girl who attended the summer camp where he works.

Falzone, 35, is being charged with lewd and lascivious molestation. He was ordered held on $25,000 bond and is prohibited from having contact with the victim or any other minor if he bonds out of jail. It is unclear if he has acquired legal representation.

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Back in April, I reported on the case of Arlene Harjo. When Arlene’s son drove her car while drunk, the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) seized her car using a process known as civil asset forfeiture. They would not give it back even though she had committed no crime. Now, a federal judge presiding over her case has found that Albuquerque’s use of civil asset forfeiture is “unconstitutional.”

In 2015, a law was passed in New Mexico essentially banning civil asset forfeiture. This is the legal procedure where law enforcement can take an individual’s property when it is suspected of being involved in a crime. In most states, criminal charges do not need to be filed as this type of forfeiture is a civil, not a criminal, process.
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In April, Sheriff Butch Conway of Gwinnett County, Georgia, bought a new car for his commute to work. The Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat is completely black and has tinted windows and black wheels. There’s no question: it looks super-cool. With a 707-horsepower engine, the Hellcat is said to be the fastest sedan ever to be made. It cost $69,258.

The problem? Conway purchased it through his office using proceeds from civil asset forfeiture.
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